By Gregor Brown in Plan de Corones, Italy
Australian Champion Matthew Lloyd (Silence-Lotto) is feeling better and better as the 91st Giro d'Italia rolls into its third week of racing. The 25 year-old indicated that his knee is feeling better, which allowed him to ride with the favourites on the Dolomite stages.
Lloyd stayed with the main classification guns through Saturday and Sunday's stages - becoming distanced only on the final passes to finish 24th and 22nd respectively. The laid-back Aussie closed the Dolomite days with a 55th place on the Plan de Corones time trial, 4'40" behind winner Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas).
Lloyd's strength allows him to ride for the general classification while aiming for a stage win and he is also acting as an ally for Belgian team-mate Jurgen Van den Broeck. Lloyd is currently 37th on the general classification.
"I am feeling better and my knee is starting to feel good," Lloyd said. He is monitoring his knee and being careful of the damage already done to the collateral ligament. "I had the ultrasound on the fourth or fifth day."
Silence-Lotto is having a good race thanks to the strong rides of Lloyd and Van den Broeck, but the Belgian team still lacks a win. "Jurgen is going so strong," Lloyd said. "It is good. It gives me a reason to be up front."
Lloyd is allowed to ride his own race at this year's Giro. "It is the same [as riding for] Cadel [Evans], at the end of the race like that there is not much one can do and it is every man for himself," he explained.
Lloyd is now aiming for a sytage win in the Giro's final mountain stages.